Mrs. Keith’s Crime by Mrs. W.K. Clifford


A novel about infanticide.


Keith’s Crime – A novel about infanticide.

Keith’s Crime – A powerful tale of euthanasia. Mrs. ‘Maggie’ Keith is left a widow with two children when her artist husband Arthur a drowned at the seaside. She ekes out a living painting portraits but her little son Jack dies of consumption and her dx-year-old daughter also shows ominous signs of sickness. With a loan from a good-natured friend, Frederick Cohen, she goes to live in Malaga, Spain. There she falls in love with her doctor, George Murray. She also contrives to matchmake for two young lovers at her hotel. But Mrs. Keith’s daughter Molly gets worse, her lover leaves and she herself develops terminal symptoms of heart disease. Lest her little girl be left to die motherless, she hastens her death with chloroform.

The novel, which is narrated autobiographically as a ‘record’ tails off with Mrs. Keith’s dying thoughts. The early sections of the story draw on the author’s own experiences, widowed as she was at the age of twenty-six with two small children. Afro Keith’s Crime was hugely popular and was successfully dramatized.


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